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More Than Paying Attention

Snowshoeing in the woods out back!

Snowshoeing in the woods out back!

More Than Paying Attention [#284 – 1-24-2019]

 

If you realize that your strength is in knowledge, which is your experience and the resiliency of consciousness, no one can affect you. Not even the Universe can diminish that one whit. … The smallest of your learning experiences should never be ignored. Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Mystical Longings – January, 2011)

 It isn’t enough to simply be aware, we need to ACT on our awareness, FLOW with what we KNOW.

Reflecting back on an event this week – one that could have been dangerous – I realized that along the way I’d been aware of some clues. But, not knowing their meaning, I didn’t recognize them as clues. More importantly, I didn’t act. I didn’t consider applying my curiosity to explore what they might indicate. I simply noticed and quickly moved to something else.

One evening last week as I was adding logs to a fire in the wood stove, a back draft created some smoke in the house. I didn’t give it much thought, and when I checked weather conditions later, I noticed there was a temperature inversion (the temp was rising after it had dipped lower) about the same time. So I attributed the experience to that, and checked in with an experienced friend who has 30 years of wood stove experience. She agreed that was the likely cause.

Then it happened again, a bit more smoke this time and a slow burning fire. Concerned, I called our local wood stove expert who installed my stove just after I bought the house.  He shared that I was not the first call reporting this (whew! I’m not alone!) and that my good, dry wood was most likely absorbing moisture from the unusually high humidity this winter (did I mention we’ve had snow on the ground for several weeks now?). He suggested bringing wood indoors for a few days before burning and offered a couple other tips to try.

Using the wood that had been in the house the longest, I managed to get a decent fire going with only minimal smoke, but when I tried to rekindle it later, the smoke instantly came into the house rather than flowing up the chimney. I suspected something more than the wood was at play, and woke the next morning with the clear guidance ‘don’t try to build a fire … call the local chimney sweep’.

And, so I called. He was able to come the following morning. A trip to the roof to inspect the chimney revealed that it was clogged with creosote build-up. I was and am still baffled by how that happened AND, I’m now aware of a clue I missed along the way that indicated the build-up was occurring. Several times this winter, I noticed the absence of small black flecks which I’d seen in previous winters on the snowy ground under the chimney. But, I didn’t act on the awareness. I didn’t know that those flecks were telling me that creosote was burning off not building up, AND I didn’t consider exploring to find out what their absence might indicate. Where was my curiosity?

I’m grateful that the chimney is clean, and that the stove is again providing warmth and coziness to this cold, snowy winter.  I’m grateful for the chimney sweep, his knowledge and willingness to tackle a high, steep, snowy roof on a cold, windy day. I’m grateful for the snow, the moisture so needed by the earth and the depth enough to don the snowshoes for a trek in the woods (and for a dog who loves to romp in the white beauty!).

 And, I’m grateful for the learning! Not just about the stove itself and the clues it communicates, but for the clarity that it isn’t enough to simply be aware, I need to ACT on my awareness, to FLOW with what I KNOW!  The gifts of life’s experience abound!

Cool Hand Luke LOVES the Snow!

Cool Hand Luke LOVES the Snow!

And, so do I!

And, so do I!


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Conviction, Conviction, Conviction

Cool Hand Luke says ‘A run in the snow is always a good aim!’

Cool Hand Luke says ‘A run in the snow is always a good aim!’

To take each step in the direction of your goals, you will need these three things:

  1. A conviction in yourself and in your uniqueness as an independent individual.

  2. A conviction in your cause, and that Life is better than you are experiencing it. And,

  3. A conviction in your outcome as worthy and powerful. Gregge Tiffen (Life: The Staircase of Many Steps – January, 2008)

 According to many experts, this is the week that people tend to veer off the track of the ambitious goals and resolutions made to start the new year.  You can find seemingly endless advice about avoiding the pitfalls and staying on track. So, in the spirit of the week, I’ll add my perspective – short and sweet:

 Your conviction is the key.

 As Gregge suggests, you need conviction in yourself, your cause, your outcome to provide the incentive to move toward your goal step by step. If your conviction isn’t present and strong, your opportunity is to grow it. Otherwise, you fall prey to the world and its distractions, finding yourself in overwhelm and feeling like a victim.

You can evaluate your conviction with questions such as:

  • When I look in the mirror, do I love and appreciate the person looking back at me? Do I know and value her/his uniqueness? Do I live fully into my individuality (or does the world determine my choices)?

  • Do I accept myself as the cause of how my life unfolds, not as blame, but as a sense of taking full responsibility? Do I appreciate the events in my life as opportunities presented for my benefit and my learning (yep, including the ones that ‘suck’)? Can I dance with the paradox of loving the life I have while knowing that as I learn and grow my experience of life can only get better?

  • How deeply do I care about what I’m aiming for? Does it consistently inspire and call me forth into action? Is it worthy and powerful, not as the world measures worth and power, but by measures of my understanding of my worth and my power.

As these questions unfolded, I notice areas that invite me to reflect and explore more deeply. Doing so is one of my aims this week. What about you?

And, for me, a gentle walk in the snow woods keeps the world in perspective.

And, for me, a gentle walk in the snow woods keeps the world in perspective.

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